Martin Forest Eberhard is an American engineer, entrepreneur, and inventor who co-founded Tesla, Inc. (then Tesla Motors) with Marc Tarpenning in 2003. Eberhard served as Tesla's original chairman, and its CEO until late 2007. In 2015, he was inducted into the University of Illinois Engineering Hall of Fame.
Eberhard grew up in Kensington, California. He received a B.S. in computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1982 and an M.S. in electrical engineering from the same school in 1984.
Eberhard began his career as an electrical engineer at Wyse Technology, where he designed the WY-30 ASCII computer terminal as his first product. Eberhard co-founded Network Computing Devices in 1987, where he served as chief engineer through its IPO on 1992.
In 1996, Eberhard founded NuvoMedia with Marc Tarpenning, where they developed the Rocket eBook, the first e-book with secure internet delivery of content. Eberhard served as chairman and CEO until NuvoMedia’s acquisition by Gemstar in 2000.